The fact that siding and cladding are applied to the exterior of a wall makes people use the terms interchangeably. The reality however is that siding and cladding are two very different things. While they both serve to protect the exterior of a building from many things including the elements, there are some technical differences between the two that you should know. Here then is a look at cladding vs. siding and how they differ from one another.
Cladding refers to the external covering that placed on walls for aesthetics and other purposes. Cladding can be made from a variety of materials and serves many different functions. Siding boards are also placed on external walls but the way they are placed and how they work is very different. Let us look at some of these differences.
Cladding, unlike siding is not attached directly to the exterior wall. Instead, cladding is held on to the wall by what are known as furring strips. These strips are water-resistant and help to create a well ventilated area between the wall and the cladding that serves a very important function. Siding on the other hand is placed directly on the wall. If you are wondering why the gap between the cladding and the wall makes all the difference, here is what you need to know.
One of the things that make cladding superior to siding is the fact that the gap between the cladding and the exterior wall allows for moisture to drain off the wall. This in turn helps to prevent moisture buildup, which may lead to rot, mold and other structural damage. Typically, water vapor will escape at the top of the cladding while liquids will drain below. The net effect i that the space between the cladding and the wall remains dry with excellent air circulation. Under these conditions, mold cannot form and your building stays protected.
Given the fact that one of the purpose of using cladding on your building is to protect the structure beneath it, you will find that cladding is a lot more durable than siding. Cladding tends to be a lot thicker, typically about 0.9 inches in width. This thickness ensures that it can withstand all manner of tough conditions including high winds and heavy snow. The cladding keeps your structure protected, ensuring that your house stays as new beneath the cladding. When it comes to siding, they tend to be a lot thinner, typically because they need to be to attach to the exterior wall adequately. siding is typically 0.04 inches and does not offer the same level of protection that cladding does.
When you use cladding instead of siding, you typically have a lot more choice when it comes to colors and design. Not only does cladding come with many different textures, but it has the additional advantage that it can be installed horizontally or vertically. This in turn gives you a lot more design versatility. It also means that cladding can be easily worked around fixtures such as drainage pipes and so on, making for an easier installation experience.
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